Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Toybox of FAIL: City (Again)

First time here? Please take a moment and read the Toybox of FAIL Disclaimer. Thanks!

Today, another something new and different! A set called....City!

Yeah, yeah. I know, I already did that joke with the multiple Pirate sets last week. But, sadly, we're in for another round of repetition as Little White Dragon rolls out yet another in their Playmobil/LEGO hybrid line. It's time once again for City!

As you can see, it's another Town-esque rip-off that....hold on.

That's a robot.

On the MOON.

Zooming in, we confirm it's a City Set. Says so right there on the label.

Maybe they mean a city on the moon. Let me look at the box again.

Hrm. No. No city there. Just the vacuum of space. And a giant robot looking for a hug.

I've had a few requests for instruction sheets to be included with the more interesting FAILs, so here you go. One City Robot instruction sheet. Not that it'll do you any good. Most of the key elements here are non-LEGO clone bricks.

Here's a detail shot of some of the more unusual bits. The grey technic pin is a direct-from-LEGO steal, but the "tube with clip" in new. The gear-shift/antennae almost look to be a superior mold...until you try and assemble them. Both of mine ended up with cracked bases and thus extremely floppy levers. Not exactly a hopeful sign.

Still, the toy went together okay, and even looks something like the box art.

There's a real problem with this set, though. And for once it has more to do with the design of the set than the crappy quality of the parts. Take a close look at the side angle above. Notice anything odd?

Like...say...the fact that the head is just resting on the shoulders without being attached in any way?

Now go back and look at those "super valuable" instructions.

Yep, this is the way this toy was designed. With a removable head.

I'm sure having your head fall off at the slightest movement is a feature, not a bug. Personally, I think Little White Dragon has been reading too many Microsoft press releases.

But either way, this City is still FAIL.

UPDATE: Author cannot follow simple instructions!

"Suck it, Doyle. Suck it hard."

Yes, it's sad but true. I served myself a big portion of FAIL with this review. Turns out if you pay attention to which direction the hollow studs are pointing on those two 90° angle plates the robot's head and torso actually assemble into a nearly solid mass.

That said, step 2 in the instructions can't actually be performed as shown - you have to clip the yellow plate onto the completed sub-assembly, not just slide it in as the diagram shows.

No, it's not much of a defense. But I just hate being bested by a bootleg.

As always, many thanks to Joe from The Undiscovered Playthings for sending me this set to review.


Great escaper said...

It's more like "DANGER, DANGER WILL ROBINSON, IM A DANGEROUS BOOTLEG! DANGER, STAY AWAY" than "Aww comeon, I need a hug...please"

Martijn said...

You DID make a mistake while building it, Chris. I don't know how to explain it in English, but you used the yellow brick between head and shoulders incorrectly.

Christopher Doyle said...


*peers closely at instructions*
Holy crap! I think you're right- the instructions show the hollow-stud side should be up, not out.

I don't know if that'd actually *fix* anythng, but I'll rebuild and see.

*snort* Leave it to you to point out the most interesting thing about this review is a FAIL on MY part! ;)

~LMM said...

Must be the 'Three Moons' where they manufacture this stuff -- "Lost in Place" I think.
Oh, yellowy-orange robot boobies surely are solid, not hollow - LOL

Thanks for the double chuckle Chris :-)

Ranger said...

You know, if Lego made those 1x2-1x2 bracket parts I would be in heaven.

Crazy Ray said...

i knew something did'nt look right

Anonymous said...

Chris, hasn't it occured to you that these sets don't have names, but that the 'names' are the names of the theme?

Martijn said...

@ Chris & Crazy Ray:
I just couldn't imagine how a bootlegger who atleast pays *some* attention to the stuff they're making (let's face it, ZK and BRICK have way lower standards for their bootlegs) would make such an error in their models.

@ Chris:
sorry for making you edit a blog article twice on the same day.
I promise I'll shut up for a while :P

Christopher Doyle said...

@anon: Of course it did; it's just amusing to me to pretend otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like the hollow stud side should be up for both the yellow-orange front bracket and the gray back bracket. That should shrink the amount of space between the front and back panels (judging by the closeups of the original head assembly sitting on the body), which, even if it doesn't fasten on, should at least make it a little less precarious.

Oh, who am I kidding, this is a bootleg. It still won't work right even if you superglue it in place. :P

Christopher Doyle said...


Okay, updated the review with a photo of the correctly built model.

Amazing how much better it works when you assemble it right...

Anonymous said...

you built it wrong. the orange 1x2 plate with 2 90 degree studs is supposed to be with the female port connector thingy things at a 90 dgree angle connecting with the studs on the torso